Our State on a Plate focuses on quality produce and how it is sourced, cooked and served in local eateries around WA. In partnership with Our State on a Plate, we hit the road to meet some of our business customers and primary producers to learn more about our homegrown goodness and how best to enjoy it.
There’s something special about cooking with produce you’ve grown in your backyard. If you’re looking to plant something you can cook with later, why not try eggplant.
Braised Eggplant Bao Buns
Caroline Taylor’s shows us her recipe for braised eggplant bao buns which celebrates the beautiful silkiness of the eggplant and is packed with flavours the whole family will enjoy.
As gardening enthusiasts can attest to, eggplant grows beautifully in the West Australian sun, across the whole state and easily in most backyards.
For Steamed Bao Buns (yields 14):
- 360g all-purpose flour
- 20g skim milk powder
- 4g baking powder
- 5g instant dry yeast
- 35g white sugar
- 40ml vegetable oil and more for greasing dough
- 200g warm water
- 14 squares of baking paper (10cm x 10cm)
For Chinese braised eggplant filling:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- 2 large eggplant, diced small
- 1 inch thick slice of fresh ginger, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 pieces of star anise, whole
- 3 cloves, whole
- 1 bay leaf, whole
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rock sugar (you can substitute regular sugar)
- 3 tablespoons hoisin
- 3 tablespoons mushroom XO (optional, available at Coles Asian section)
- Salt, to taste
For Steamed Bao Buns:
1. Put the flour, milk powder, baking powder, yeast & sugar in a large bowl. Separately mix the veg oil and warm water.
2. Mix wet ingredients into dry and knead. Rest until doubled.
3. Punch down the dough, dust the surface with flour and roll to 1cm thick, greasing lightly with veg oil.
4. Cut rounds approx. 8cm in diameter. Fold rounds in half and flatten with a rolling pin slightly.
5. Place in a steamer on baking paper and let proof for 30 minutes.
6. Steam for 10-12 mins then turn off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes before removing. You can re-heat for up to one day after.
For Chinese braised eggplant filling:
1. In a large frypan, sauté ginger and garlic in vegetable and sesame oil for 2 minutes.
2. Add hoisin, Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar, star anise, cloves, bay leaf, soy sauces and sugar, bring to a low simmer.
3. Add raw eggplant and mix around letting the juices soak in and start to get sticky. This will take around 5-8 minutes.
4. Once at the desired level of stickiness (based on personal preference) take off the heat and add the mushroom XO.
5. Serve as a filling in a steam bao or dumpling, alternatively serve on rice with a fresh tomato, coriander and red onion salsa.
For more dinner kitchen inspiration and tips and tricks on using gas, check out our Kleenheat Kitchen recipes.
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